I am wondering if part of the problem of declining membership in the UUA is that the denomination tries to be too many things to too many people when in fact it is a special faith which is appropriate for only a few.
I don't mean this idea that UU is for the few as an elitist idea or an exclusionary idea but rather as an idea that few people are ready for it, are developmentally attuned to its ideas and values.
I have been studying Ken Wilbur's ideas about what he terms the Integral Operating system. He makes the point that people can be at one of three stages of consciousness: egocentric, ethnocentric, and cosmocentric. Most of the world's religions and Christian denominations are egocentric and ethnocentric. The exception is Unitarian Universalism, Quakerism, and Buddhism which seems to be more comsocentric.
Wilbur makes the point that the majority of humans on the planet today are egocentric and ethnocentric. They comprise about70% of humanity. I personally think that this group is even larger, maybe 80 - 90%. Only 10 - 20% of humans are at a cosmocentric stage of consciousness. Unitarian Univeralism is a cosmocentric religion. The people attracted to it developmentally are in the minority.
My point is that, perhaps it is not the quantity of members but the quality of members which makes Unitarian Univeralism a high quality religion.
If these ideas have any accuracy, then they have important implications for our outreach and recruitment of new members.
As Jesus says in Matthew 22:14, "Many are called but few are chosen."
There are only about 150,000 Unitarian Universalists in the United States today. This is a small quantity of people compared to the 300 million in the Country. UUs are the yeast in the dough.